semi truck repairs and preventative maintenance

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Semi-Truck Starter?

compression ratios than light-duty vehicles, so unless they have a working starter motor, there is no way to start them. Sometimes you’ll have early indications that your starter is going to fail, and sometimes the first time you find out is the next time you try to start your truck.

When your truck won’t start and the starter is a likely culprit, a lot of drivers immediately start to wonder how much it costs to replace the starter in their truck. Keep reading for more information about what it costs to replace a starter in a semi, what causes them to go bad in the first place, and how you may be able to tell that yours is on its way out.


What is the Cost to Replace a Starter in a Semi-Truck?

The primary cost for most trucks is going to be the starter itself. Since the replacement process is often fairly simple, the labor cost to replace a starter isn’t as significant to the overall cost to replace the starter in a truck. Depending on the cost of the starter motor itself, the cost to replace the starter in your semi-truck can range from $150 to more than $800.


Signs You Need to Replace Your Vehicle’s Starter

Below are some of the common indications that you may need to replace your truck’s starter. While this list isn’t exhaustive, it does show you many of the common signs that your starter is about to go bad, or has already done so.

No Crank Situations

The most common way that a driver finds out their starter has gone bad is that they try to start their truck and get a no-crank condition. In many cases, this looks like turning the key, and either getting nothing but a clicking sound, or getting nothing at all. Sometimes, with the short that happens while trying to use a starter that’s gone bad, all of your dash lights will disappear, but this does not always happen.

This issue can also be caused by a dead battery, so make sure you eliminate that as a potential reason by testing the battery voltage. Additionally, while a bad starter is the most common cause of a no-crank situation, it isn’t the only one. It can be a sign of so many things that it is often best to just bring your truck to a professional mechanic.

Noisy Starting

A new noise while starting may also be a sign that your starter needs to be replaced. This can happen when the internal components of the starter begin to wear out and lose contact with each other. When this happens, they will begin to no longer engage properly, and will often create grinding, whirring or clicking noises while being engaged. This is crucial to get checked out, because it can lead to damage to the engine flywheel.

Starting Issues

If you have periodic problems starting your truck, but haven’t been able to identify another obvious cause, it may be due to the starter. Being able to start your truck fine one day and having a problem the next is the most common way this manifests. This can happen due to electrical inconsistencies or a bad relay. The best course of action is to have a trusted local mechanic look at it.

Starter Stuck “On”

One of the more dangerous and mechanically urgent malfunctions is when the starter won’t disengage from the flywheel once the truck has been started. This can happen when either the starter solenoid or the starter relay get stuck. If the problem isn’t fixed immediately it can destroy the flywheel.

Visible Issues

Sometimes, when a starter goes bad, it will have a short that is serious enough to cause it to overheat and begin smoking. This will only happen when the starter continues to receive power continuously and becomes dangerously overheated. This can be caused by several different issues like a short, a blown fuse or even a damaged ignition switch.


Common Causes of a Broken Starter

While a starter is a part that will eventually wear out, there are some situations that can contribute to early failure. Here are some of the most common causes of a broken starter on your truck:

  • Loose or damaged wiring to and from the starter solenoid can lead to intermittent connection and a higher potential for shorting out.
  • Dirty or corroded wiring to and from the starter that indicates a potential poor connection.
  • Corrosion on the battery terminals
  • Natural wear and tear of components within the starter itself.
  • Oil leaks are a common reason that starters go bad, and replacing one without finding the leak often results in the need to replace more than once.
  • Your starting system has its own relays and fuses, so make sure that none of the protection equipment has been overloaded.


Tips to Prevent Starter Issues Before They Beginservicing reefers in MN

Starters do wear out, so in some cases there just isn’t much you can do to stop them from going bad. However, there are some simple precautions you can take to ensure that you are being as diligent as possible in addressing their potential future failure.

Be Mindful Of Your Starting

So many drivers just hop in their rig and start cranking the engine until it starts. Nobody knows the normal starting sound of your truck better than you, so if that sound changes at all you should know that something is likely wrong.

Starters that are about to go bad will often sound different or off. Additionally, you may find that it takes longer to get the truck started once the starter begins to go bad. If you notice the starting of your truck has changed, even though it still starts, you should make an appointment with a professional immediately.

Watch For Oil Leaks

Oil leaks are incredibly damaging to starters, particularly when the leak is sprayed or misted into the engine bay. This oil can have a negative impact on the starter and can cause it to short-circuit and become permanently damaged. If you notice any oil leaks, you should make an appointment with a local expert quickly, since more than just your starter could be at stake.

Perform Preventative Maintenance

One of the best ways to ensure that you are doing everything in your power to prevent your starter from going bad is to have periodic preventative maintenance performed by a trusted local shop. This involves visual inspections as well as component testing and replacement of consumable items like filters.


Take Care of Your Semi-Truck with Blaine Brothers

If you have been having occasional issues with your starter or if you’ve simply made the decision to begin a preventative maintenance regimen, get in touch with Blaine Brothers today! Our team of local, licensed and certified technicians will be able to get you the service you need to keep your truck running at peak performance.

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Minneapolis, MN 55449

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